Barcelona was built for summer life. From the beach to the mountains and everything in between, there's a certain bliss in the warmer months, when nothing else matters but the moment. Here, in the summer, lifelong memories are made.
Of course, it’s not all sunshine and smiles. The smell of the city isn’t pretty in the hotter months. You’ll start sweating the moment you leave the shower. And there will be times when you’d sell your soul for just the hint of a cooling breeze.
That said, it's hard to complain when you’ve got day-to-day sunshine and tons of terrazas serving tasty tapas and refreshing drinks, plus the thousand and one things to do in and around the city.
Speaking of which, here’s our list of the most enticing, exciting and downright delightful things to do in Barcelona this summer.
The most explosive night of the year returns on June 23rd. Blazing in the trail of the summer solstice – the official start of summer – Sant Joan is a celebration of love, loyalty, friendship and, let’s face it, fireworks. For anyone with very young children or dogs, it’s an absolute nightmare. Yet, for fun-loving fans of all things fuego, it’s a festival like no other.
If you’ve never experienced the kaleidoscopic chaos of Sant Joan in Barcelona, you’re in for a treat. If you’re one of the initiated, you know the score. Either way, embrace your inner pyro, find a friend with a terrace and enjoy the show.
It’s going to be a night to remember.
The summer heat in Barcelona is no joke. When the temperatures hit the heights, it’s time to hit the beach… or the pool, for that matter. While Barcelona’s beaches are generally pretty awesome, summer is the time of year to steer clear of Barceloneta – head towards the less-crowded Playa Nova Icària and Playa de Bogatell for an all-round better beach time.
Poolwise, Montjuïc is a must. Okay, so it’s a little rough around the edges and it does get packed on weekends in the late afternoon. But in terms of the value for money, the vibe and the view (what a view!) Montjuïc swimming pool is the place to be. Hey, if it’s good enough for a Kylie Minogue video, it’s good enough for us.
Meanwhile, the Forum bathing area combines the best of both worlds – you can swim in the sea without sand getting everywhere. Then there’s the countless municipal gyms across the city. Sign up and swim… if only for the summer!
There are few better ways to spend a balmy summer evening in Barcelona than a picnic, a few bottles of wine, a group of friends and a film. That’s why so many locals look forward to Sala Montjuïc, the annual outdoor film festival that showcases the year’s best movies, with a few all time classics thrown in for good measure.
The films are shown on a giant screen built on the side of Castell Montjuïc, with each accompanied by pre-show music courtesy of acclaimed bands. This year’s lineup includes Oscar-winning ‘Everything Everywhere All at Once’, as well as old favourites including Hitchcock’s ‘Rear Window’, Spielberg’s ‘E.T.’ and the Coen Brothers’ ‘Fargo’.
This year’s Sala Montjuïc runs from June 30th until August 4th. Check out the full programme and get your tickets here.
We all know Barcelona is one of the coolest cities in the world. But one of the unexpected delights about living in this wonderful city is the beauty of the surrounding countryside. Stunning landscapes made up of majestic mountains, rolling hills and freshwater lakes – there’s a reason why all the locals disappear in August… they’ve got all this to escape to.
The ultimate way to end the summer, La Mercè is Barcelona’s biggest and best street party. Throughout the entirety of a glorious late summer three-day weekend, the city plays host to stunning firework displays, spectacular light shows, theatre, dance, music and merriment. Expect show stopping international acts, as well as Catalan cultural classics including bastoners (drummers), correfocs (fireruns) and capgrossos (giants).
With over 500 activities spread across every barrio throughout the city, within plazas, parks, cultural centres and a variety of venues, this year’s La Mercè is primed to be one of the finest ever. It runs from September 22nd to the 25th – keep an eye out for the release of the full La Mercè 2023 programme closer to the time.